The Fruit of the Spirit
21 June 2022
Saint Paul tells us his letter to the “churches of Galatia” (our first reading this Sunday, chapter 5, verses 13-25), that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”. The fruit of the Spirit is what the Holy Spirit does in us. In other words, the more we are moved by the Holy Spirit, the more we are children of God (“all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God” Romans 8:14), and children of God are loving and joyous and peaceful and patient, etc. A life transformed in Christ looks like this.
If we find ourselves lacking in any of these qualities, we ought earnestly and hope-fully to beseech the Holy Spirit. We must do our part by seeking to become more virtuous, that is, interiorly stronger. And, we must intend to love. Yet, building upon our efforts and beyond them, the Holy Spirit is at work, (re)fashioning our hearts. Indeed, Dietrich Bonheoffer, the German pastor-theologian, executed by hanging on 9 April 1945 for his supposed association with a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, says, “The fruit of the Spirit is a gift of God, and only He can produce it.”
Let us be open to the loving action of the Holy Spirit Who indwells us. Let us rejoice that this fruit, if a gift of God, depends, first and foremost, on our side of the equation, on a deep desire. We can all, always desire. It is the act of deliberately wanting, beyond any feelings, which no person and no circumstance—exterior or interior—can stop. This is really good news!
Yours in Christ,
pilgrim of desire with you